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Rossi & Rossi

Avalokiteshvara
Mongolia
17th-18th c.
gilded bronze
39 cm - 15 1/4 in

This sculpture depicts an eleven-headed, eight-armed Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of Compassion. The two upper heads are a rather fierce head and a Buddha head, probably Amithaba. The attribute in his top right hand is missing; in his upper left hand he holds a lotus bud. Two more hands on the right hold a prayer wheel and display the varada mudra or the gesture of giving. In his two other hands on the left he holds the elixir of immortality and one implement is missing. He holds the two hands in front of him in the namaskara mudra. The missing attributes are probably a bow and arrow.

The sculpture features elegant proportions, elaborate princely jewellery, traces of blue paint in the hair, flowing garments with attention to textile patterns, and facial features with highly arched eyebrows, tilted eyes with eyelids curving in a shallow S-shape, sharp nose and full lips all characteristics that are so typical of the Zanabazar school of sculpture.

all text, images Rossi & Rossi

 

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